The federal government will invest $44 million in four industry-run artificial intelligence (AI) and digital capability centres as part of its AI action plan.
Science and technology Melissa Price revealed the funding, which will be shared between the centres, to drive the commercialisation of AI research in Australia.
The funding comes almost a year after the government first announced the centres as part of its $124.1 million AI action plan.
Working alongside Data61’s national AI centre, each centre will nominate a focus area in specific applications of AI.
The focus areas will align with the digital growth priorities under the government's digital economy strategy, or the national manufacturing priorities under the modern manufacturing initiative.
Price said the “centres will act as a front door for SMEs to improve their AI skills in order to adopt AI products in their businesses”.
“They will draw together industries, research institutions, innovation hubs and businesses to create an ecosystem that drives innovation, commercialisation and adoption of AI,” she said.
Grants of up to $11 million are available to each centre, with applicants required to partner with at least one industry partner and “build on an existing technology, manufacturing hub or university”.
The government said applicants “must contribute 25 percent of the total project’s expenditure and may provide additional in-kind contributions”.